Culture & Heritage
The Culture prevailing in Rajnandgaon district is that of Chhattisgarh. ‘Chhattisgarhi’ is the local language that most of the people in this area love to converse in. Chhattisgarh culture in itself is very rich and interesting. ‘Baigas’ (traditional medical practitioners) apply their own methods (called Jhad phook) to cure diseases and snake bites etc. However, known for their modesty, kindness and adjustable nature people of this area are fond of variety in dressing, entertainment and way of living. This culture has unique styles of music and dance. Raut Nacha, Dewar Nacha, Panthi & Soowa, Padki and Pandwani are some of musical styles and dance dramas. Pandwani is a famous musical way of singing Mahabharata in this region. This particular music style has been brought into lime light by well-known Teejan Bai and young Ritu Verma. Colourful dresses and variety of ornaments are worn by women and men of this part of country.
Various decorative items used by women are Baandha, ‘suta’, ‘Phuli’, ‘Bali’ and Khunti, ‘Ainthi’, Patta, Choora, Kardhani on waist, Pounchhi a ring for upper arm and Bichhiya worn on toes. Men also decorate themselves with Koundhi and Kadhah for occasions like dances.
Gouri-Goura, Surti, Hareli, Pola and Teeja are the main festivals of this area. Celebrated in the month of ‘Savan’ hareli is a mark of greenery. Farmers worship farm equipment and cows on this occasion. They place branches and leaves of ‘Bhelwa’ (a tree resembling cashew tree and found in the forests and villages of this district) in the fields and pray for good crop. People also hang small Neem branches at the main entrance of houses on this occasion to prevent occurrence of seasonal diseases.
Children play ‘GEDI’ (walking on bamboo) from the festival of hareli to Pola. They display various feats on GEDI and participate in GEDI race. Hareli is also beginning of festivals in this region. Pola and Teeja follow Hareli. People celebrate POLA by worshipping Bullocks. Bull race is also a major event of the festival. Children play with Nandia-Bail (Nandi the Vahan of Lord Shiva) idols made of clay and fitted with clay wheels. Teeja is the festival of women. All married women pray for the welfare of their husbands on this occasion. The custom is to perform this prayer at the parents’ place of the women. The feeling of togetherness and social harmony is filled in every festival and art of Chhattisgarh culture.